Pop up spaces

Club Tropicana - Upper James Street courtesy of Appear Here

This post has been contributed by Appear Here.

Some of the world’s most successful retail destinations are collaborative. If you’ve ever whiled away a day in Selfridges, Liberty or Dover Street Market, you’ve seen a shop share in action. if you’ve got an idea and you’re considering a pop-up, here’s why sharing space might be for you.

Reduce costs

The most obvious benefit of sharing space is cost. Taking over a full shop in a prime location isn’t always an option if you’re a small brand. However, getting in front of the right audience is still possible when you split overheads and resources – including staffing – with an existing store, market or gallery.

When Sharif Labo, founder of La Gent, wanted to trial a physical store for his online lifestyle store he partnered with Pinch. Furniture hire is expensive, so Sharif worked with Pinch to fit out the space. They had a similar aesthetic and used the same materials as the brands he stocked, which created a stylish environment, which showed their products at their best.

Boost exposure

Booking a space in an established concept store can also bring exposure fast – there’s a ready-made audience for newer or smaller brands to tap into. Plus, ideas breed ideas. You could end up creating promotions, experiences, events and even products together. Earning both brands a stronger foothold with fans.

When La Gent and Pinch collaborated, they took over the front of The Koppel Project, a creative space in Marylebone. Here, they benefitted from the existing store audience. They hosted a launch party in the space with Sipsmith Gin, which Wallpaper Magazine attended – and named the collaboration one of their favourite design stores of 2016.

Good & Proper Tea, Clerkenwell (Shop share available). Courtesy of Appear Here
Good & Proper Tea, Clerkenwell (Shop share available). Courtesy of Appear Here

Low risk, big opportunity

With less financial investment, brands can be more agile and mobile than ever. After trying a shop share in one location, you’ll be free to move around the rest of the city, country or even continent. Getting your idea wherever your target audience is working, living or playing right now.

Shop shares are a particular no-brainer if you’re testing an idea overseas for the first time. Recently, Appear Here helped successful London retailers launch in Paris by curating a pop-up concept store for fashion week. For those brands, it was a quick and low-cost way to find out how their brand performed in a new market.

Pollen + Grace & Pact Coffee - Old Street Station. Courtesy of Appear Here
Pollen + Grace & Pact Coffee – Old Street Station. Courtesy of Appear Here

Appear Here’s top five tips for launching a shop share:

  1. First, find out where your target audience hangs out. Getting in front of the right people is the single most important factor for your store to be successful.
  1. Do you like the store owner? Because if you end up working together, you’ll be trusting them to represent your brand too. Do you have values (or a backstory) in common? Always look for complementary features – not identical products.
  1. Take risks. The most successful shop shares are often the most unexpected. As long as you’re appearing where your target audience is – you can experiment.
  1. Check, check and check again. A shop share can be anything, from wall or rail space to an entire floor – so rental prices and set ups vary. Check whether the rent you’re given is all inclusive. Also, find out what decoration you’re permitted. Little touches like vinyls or even framed press about your brand help personalise your area of the store.
  1. And finally, remember to sell your idea – and yourself – to the owners. Invest time in perfecting the pitch. Show why and how your collaboration will work. Websites, press cuttings and even product samples can form part of your winning pitch.

Appear Here Concierges can help you with finding, booking and launching a shop share. Spaces include everything from high street boutiques, concession space in world-famous stores – and showcase spaces in independent retailers Check out the latest shop shares available here.


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